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Old Jul 15, 2011, 09:47 AM
RedStarArmy is offline
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Been following this thread for a while, congrats! Looks like things have come together nicely. Any chance you will post a video?
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Old Jul 15, 2011, 11:55 AM
jlorenco is offline
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Congratulations Dale! Great to hear your diligence has paid off for you, and thanks for keeping us all updated and sharing your data.

Do you know how much battery capacity you used for the duration of the flight?
Old Jul 15, 2011, 04:03 PM
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Congratulations on your first flight. Its exciting and a little bit scary at the same time.
Old Jul 15, 2011, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlorenco View Post
Congratulations Dale! Great to hear your diligence has paid off for you, and thanks for keeping us all updated and sharing your data.

Do you know how much battery capacity you used for the duration of the flight?
Based on how many mah went into each pack after the flight, I would say I used 100% of the 7.2 kwhr capacity.

I had some concerns over being able to land when the batteries reached a certain voltage (in the case of my first flight 3.3 v/cell) but it was very easy to time my landing to 3.3 v/cell. I just lazed around the airport in a tight circuit and landed when it got there, I found it much easier to do than to land with a certain amount of gasoline fuel in a gas burning Lazair.

Dale
Old Jul 15, 2011, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedStarArmy View Post
Been following this thread for a while, congrats! Looks like things have come together nicely. Any chance you will post a video?
Sorry, only low quality video so far. Maybe someone will take some at Oshkosh.

Dale
Old Jul 15, 2011, 09:22 PM
KiloOne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donmei View Post
Congratulations on your first flight. Its exciting and a little bit scary at the same time.
Yes it was, but not nearly as exciting and scary as when I had to stand on the edge of a bridge in Victoria Falls and jump off it when I bungy jumped in Africa.

Dale
Old Jul 15, 2011, 10:07 PM
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That is SO AWESOME! I totally understand your statement "I have always dreamed of this kind of carefree flight since I was a child." I think most of us on this forum have the same dream! Someday I am going to build an electric powered paraglider. Maybe for my final project in college...
Old Jul 15, 2011, 10:51 PM
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JM1 - second day flying!


More FUN FUN FUN

Most of the day was taken up with logistical items but late in the afternoon at 4:08 EST time today I took off into a beautiful soaring sky as you can see by my photos below.

I had attached an airspeed and a Colibri GPS logger to the plane to do some range optimization runs but as soon as I got airborne I could not resist the urge to soar, soooo I soared the Lazair for over an hour and a half and the rest of the 2 hour and 33 minute flight was taken up just enjoying low level scenery within gliding range of cut hay fields. I had a great time.

It is hard to estimate the length of the actual soaring time since I almost always had some power on. Gliding without power resulted in windmilling props at 900 rpm. The rate of sink was probably 500 fpm or so but that is a guess. Because of the windmilling drag I spent most of my soaring time at 1300 rpm and about a 3 amp current draw (about 1/5 of a horsepower per engine). This resulted in a very smooth and quiet 'pseudo' gliding configuration, in fact with just a slight change in power I could achieve any glide ratio I wanted and still 'feel' like I was soaring. I liked this so much that I may not create the rubber sticks I mentioned to stop the prop while soaring. Check out the instrument reading in the photos.

I got to about 6000 feet msl but it was a chilly 54 degF up there so my T-shirt did not warm me. I spent quite a bit of time down low trying to pick up thermals in warmer air.

I was flying with an 'Ascent' variometer attached to the top of the stick. On the screen I use most, the top line shows relative altitude from takeoff elevation and on the bottom line it shows rate of climb in fpm. Although not well compensated, I was able to get used to this instrument for centering thermals.

I tried flying with full power on each motor and the other windmilling. I had no problems maintaining control. It did take full rudder at lower airspeeds right up to stall but the wing never really dropped.

I am now very pleased with my C.G. position of 6.5 inches behind the front of the boom tube with the boom level. I thermalled with my hands off the stick and only used rudder for at least 10 minutes, funny, I think that I thermalled better this way.

I landed at 6:31 PM EST with a few minutes battery reserve, what a FUN flight.

How cool is the charging setup pictured below? I'll bet that I have two of the largest APU's for any ultralight out there. I can't believe how little fuel was burned recharging after yesterdays flight, as far as I can guess, it was about 1.25 gallons per generator, that is about 2 gallons per hour of flight. That is still more than the $1.00 worth of electricity I would have use if there were six 20 amp 120 vac circuits avalable at the airfield but it appears that it is not costing more than the fuel it would have taken to fly a 9.5 hp Rotrax powered Lazair for the same time. I will confirm this number as I have more charge cycles. It took about an hour and fifteen minutes to charge the batteries today before I flew.

I've got almost 4 hours in the air in an electric plane in 2 flights, wow.

More flying tomorrow, I'll post again if I can.

Dale
Old Jul 15, 2011, 11:00 PM
KiloOne is offline
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More pictures


Just because I took them
Old Jul 16, 2011, 12:34 AM
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Great photos. Whats your all up, flying weight now?

Are you still going to be an ultralight, or will you have to register it as an experimental?
I'm thinking it couldn't be a LSA because they're restricted to single engine. (motor in your case)

Don
Old Jul 16, 2011, 12:49 AM
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Congratulations! It is a remarkable technical achievement and you have such a wonderful spirit of adventure. Thank you for letting us share this adventure with you.
Old Jul 16, 2011, 01:52 AM
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Dale,

Congratulations big-time on pulling it off. Just this evening I was talking with John J. about your project and how the motors have been so delayed in delivery and how I didn't think you would be at AirVenture after all - and how bummed I was. Then, I check in to your blog this evening and _WOW_ there you are motoring merrily along! Knowing you and how you become consumed by your projects, waiting on the Joby motors to be delivered must have been Hell. If you do make Oshkosh I suspect there will be a record turnout of Lazair owners and pilots there to welcome and congratulate you. The pictures of your flight this afternoon did make me extremely jealous as I spent MY afternoon washing and waxing the Great White Wale (NOT FUN) for next weekend's cross country. John wants us to stop for the Dayton Airshow Saturday so we won't be to AV until later Sunday, as it stands now.

It will be very interesting to see your test results when you get better data. It sounds like I should hold on to my EC (enclosed cockpit Lazair for the rest of the crowd) for possible conversion sometime down the road.

BTW, way-back-when I came across a factory published power curve for the (early Lazair's) P60-61 Pioneer chainsaw engine and it appeared that even though they were rated close to 6 HP peak, with your direct mounted injected plastic prop they could only produced around 4.5 HP. With my homemade re-drives allowing the engines to run much faster, mine got close to 5.5 HP. Of course, mine also wore out in 200 hours of use! Too bad my overly modified series one weights so much more than a factory stock plane!

See ya soon, I hope,

Chappy
Old Jul 16, 2011, 12:09 PM
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DS JUNKY
Dale how does the performance compare to the 9.5hp rotax? Also I would think when you are up at 6000msl the electric system would feel far more potent when you push the throttle forward. Do you plan to do any real high altitude flying now thay you have a potent power system for high altitude flying?
Last edited by Z06kal; Jul 16, 2011 at 04:32 PM.
Old Jul 16, 2011, 01:26 PM
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WOW! Better watch out for the Concorde at 60,000 msl!

Oh, no worries, they're history now.
Old Jul 16, 2011, 04:28 PM
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Fantastic Congratulations 6000msl wooowweeee...2 hrs in the air, great work there Dale..


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